Area of Study: Rhetorical Studies
B.A. and M.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Professor Blair’s research focuses on the rhetorical and cultural significance of U.S. commemorative places and artworks. She teaches related courses on visual and material rhetorics, rhetoric and memory, and rhetorics of place, as well as on contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism.
My current research focuses on contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism, attending especially to rhetoric’s crucial role in understanding visual and material phenomena. In particular, I study the rhetorics of commemorative places and artworks of the twentieth-century U.S. This project addresses how rhetorical constructions of the past advocate particular visions of nationalism and citizenship in and about the U.S. for the present and future. Over the long term, the aim of the project is to account for changes in how the U.S. nation-state commemorates: Who or what is commemorated: during what periods, under what cultural conditions, and with what civic and political consequences? My current project—with V. William Balthrop and Neil Michel—is on U.S. memorials built in Europe during the interwar period and marking U.S. participation in World War I.